Before seeing Prisoners, I guaranteed to people that it would be good. Sometimes it is as if I just know. I did not have any doubts about this movie at all. I am not narcissistic. I just sort of have a sixth sense. I am like Haley Joel Osment’s character in The Sixth Sense (1999). However, instead of seeing dead people, I see good movies.
Can’t you just hear me whispering softly? “I see good movies.”
Bruce Willis responds, “In your dreams?”
I shake my head no.
“While you’re awake?”
“Good movies like, in graves? In coffins?”
“Walking around like regular movies. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re good.”
Bruce Willis asks, “How often do you see them?”
I whisper, “All the time. They’re everywhere.”
Prisoners is about two little girls who go missing. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is the father of one of the girls. He will stop at nothing to find out who took his daughter and will do whatever is necessary to get her back.
The movie was directed by Denis Villeneuve and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrance Howard, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Wayne Duvall, Len Cariou, David Dastmalchian, and Dylan Minnette.
Prisoners was gripping. It did not take long to pull me in to the disturbingly chilling story. It’s the next day and I’m still thinking about the film.
It should go without saying that it’s not exactly a feel good movie. Two little girls disappear. There is nothing good about that. Because of the subject matter, some aspects of the film are hard to like. However, the film was so well-made that it doesn’t pull any punches, and rightfully so. You have to see the bad in order to appreciate the good.
The movie is brutally violent and gory. There is plenty of language and blood. It captures the eeriness of the twisted plot perfectly.
Jackman plays a broken man who does not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to get his daughter back. His performance was excellent. It might be his best and more realistic role yet. It is Hugh Jackman unplugged like you haven’t seen him before.
Gyllenhaal plays the detective on the case. He is obsessed with his job and has solved every case that he has been assigned to. He is not about to fail now. This movie is equally Gyllenhaal’s movie as much as it is Jackman’s.
The rest of the supporting cast all play their parts well and Leo stands out among them.
The film is just over two and a half hours long, but I was so in to it that I did not notice. Time flies when you’re have fun, or watching a good movie. Prisoners never gets boring. It absorbs you and keeps you guessing until the end.
Jackman, Gyllenhaal, and Leo all gave Oscar worthy performances and the film itself is the best movie that I have seen so far this year.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale on 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
If you liked Prisoners, then you will probably enjoy:
Mystic River (2003)
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a tender, heartfelt drama about a boy (Thomas Horn) who tries to keep the memory of his father (Tom Hanks) alive for as long as possible. The boy is completely devastated after his father dies inside of the World Trade Center during the attacks on September 11th, 2001. He finds a key to an unknown lock that belonged to his father and he is prepared to search all of New York City to find out exactly what the key will unlock.
The pace of the film was pretty slow and it allowed for the development of the main characters. It did not have to rely on special effects or action, just actors acting and telling a story.
Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock both give charming performances in the film, as they usually do. But, their roles were miniscule in comparison to the breakout performance of 14-year-old Thomas Horn. Horn came out of nowhere. He did an excellent job of acting in his first movie ever. The young man was able to carry the majority of the film on his back. Thomas Horn reminded me a little bit of Haley Joel Osment. It will be interesting to see what Horn does next.
Max Von Sydow did a great job with his supporting character.
My only complaints about the movie are that it was maybe a little too slow during some parts and it was a little bit predictable. It would have been more beneficial to the film if Hanks and Bullock had a little bit more face time.
It is hard to get excited to watch a movie that has anything to do with the attacks on the WorldTradeCenter on 9/11/2001. That is the reason why I did not rush out and catch this movie in the theatre when it was out in 2011. I’m glad that I did take the time to finally watch it because it did turn out to be a pretty touching story.
I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.